Monday, August 11, 2008

Row over location of proposed varsity in Koraput

Statesman, Aug 11, 2008

Statesman News Service
BHAWANIPATNA, Aug 10: Chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik’s suggestion to locate the proposed Central University at Koraput has evoked strong protests here.
The Kalahandi Kriyanusthan Committee which was canvassing for the varsity has described Mr Patnaik’s decision as 'whimsical.' Denouncing the CM for having gone back on his earlier promise, the organisation threatened to launch an agitation in the district.
Convenor of the Kalahandi Kriyanusthan Committee Dr Lambodar Sahu said: "Since two decades people of Kalahandi have been demanding a central university."
Terming the CM’sdecision as an act of betrayal, the organisation said on 6 April 2008 an all party delegation from Kalahandi had met the chief minister and apprised him about the demand.
The chief minister agreed and instructed the Kalahandi district collector to locate suitable land for the proposed varsity.
A suitable and feasible site was identified near Karlapada.
The site had all the pre-requsites ~ an air strip at a distance of just 9 km, the World Bank financed super high way passing through the site and its distance from the district headquarter was barely 20 km.
The land details along with the map was submitted to the CM through the collector on 8 July.
After all this the CM suddenly shot off a request letter to the Central government asking it to locate the proposed central university in Koraput district, decried Dr Sahu.
"Kalahandi is perpetually neglected and despite being rich in natural and human resources it continues to remain in the poverty zone.
Citing another instance of neglect, he said the KBK headquarter ought to have been in Bhawanipatna but for some strange reasons it was not done.
Similarly there is no effort to locate the headquarter of the Western Orissa Development Council, at Kalahandi, he noted.
Mr Sahu informed that a delegation will once again call on the CM and try to impress upon him that the central varsity should be established in Kalahandi district.
Meanwhile the Kriyanusthan Committee has drawn up plans to launch a mass movement from next week.

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